Peter Murphy, the former lead singer of '80s British goth rock band Bauhaus, is being held since his arrest on Saturday for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, possession of meth and a felony hit-and-run. Murphy, 55, reportedly rear-ended a vehicle in Glendale, California that morning and then fled to LA. The injured driver was able to take down his license plate number, and a pickup truck driver followed Murphy to LA, where he blocked the singer's car and then notified police. Murphy reportedly denied having taken anything other than prescribed medication for depression, and told cops he was also jet lagged. He appeared "very confused" and was unable to say what day it was. Officers also found a plastic bag containing meth in the squad car where he was being detained. Murphy denied owning the bag, but officers accused him of trying to discard it in the patrol car. The UK-born rocker is currently being held on $500,000 bail, an unusually high amount on the grounds of concerns that he is a flight risk. Bauhaus released four albums throughout the early '80s, with their 1982 release The Sky's Gone Out reaching No. 4 on the UK charts.
One in 14 women have an eating disorder during the first three months of pregnancy, according to a new study by University College London (UCL). Researchers surveyed over 700 pregnant women and found 25% were “highly concerned about their weight and shape.” One in 12 pregnant woman said they would overeat or lose control over their eating habits at least twice a week. And 2% said they fasted, exercised excessively, induced vomiting or misused laxatives or diuretics to avoid gaining weight. “There is good evidence from our research that eating disorders in pregnancy can affect both the mother and the developing baby,” says study leader Dr. Nadia Micali, of the UCL Institute of Child Health. Experts say that most prenatal eating disorders are left untreated. "Women with eating disorders are often reluctant to disclose their illness to healthcare professionals, possibly due to a fear of stigma or fear that health services might respond in a negative way,” says Dr. Abigail Easter, also of the UCL Institute of Child Health. "Typical pregnancy symptoms such as weight gain and vomiting can also mask the presence of an eating disorder. Many women with eating disorders may therefore go undetected and untreated during pregnancy." The researchers say that screening women for eating disorders at their first prenatal check-up could make a difference. "Greater awareness of eating disorders and their symptoms amongst antenatal health care professionals would help to better identify and manage such disorders amongst pregnant women," says Micali. About 1.4 million women in the UK struggle with an eating disorder, about 4% of the female population.
In news that was a long time coming, Lindsay Lohan is headed to rehab, after accepting a plea deal in court on Monday. “She is to do 90 days at a locked rehab facility,” the Los Angeles judge explained. “She is not allowed to leave the facility at all.” In addition to rehab, the judge sentenced the 26-year-old actress to 30 days of community service and 18 months of psychological therapy. He also had some personal advice to offer. “Don’t drive,” he told her, though this was not a part of the plea deal. “You’re in New York. You don’t need to drive.” Lohan had arrived a fashionable 45 minutes late to the hearing, and was "glitter bombed" on her way in to the court house (no arrests have been made). The star also missed her original flight from New York to Los Angeles, and resorted to taking a private plane, provided by energy drink company Mr. Pink. "Thanks Mr. Pink for the private jet see you all in a few hours in LA," she tweeted early on Monday. Even with her late arrival, the odds where in her favor, as she was facing 245 days in jail for reckless driving and lying to law enforcement before she took the plea deal. The judge stressed the severity of Lohan's situation. “You really need to understand….This is it," he said, "Please take this seriously.”
- Dating in Middle School Leads to Higher Dropout, Drug-Use Rates, Study Suggests [Science Daily]
- Bloomberg Seeks to Ban Cigarette Displays in NYC’s Stores [Bloomberg]
- FedEx to Pay NYC $2.4 Million in Cigarette Dispute [Jersey Journal]
- 420 at Independence Mall: Around 200 People Smoke a Joint to Fight for Marijuana Legalization [Raging Chicken Press]
- Breaking Bad Star's 1984 Toyota Tercel Up For Sale [TMZ]
- After 100 LSD-Fueled Sexual Encounters, Man With No Penis Builds One Out of Arm Skin [Gawker]
- Drunk Beth Ditto Arrested, Yelling 'Obama' [Billboard]
Rapper Lil' Wayne is in the hospital after suffering seizures, and many think the cause is sizzurp, the "purple drank" made popular by several hip hop stars. The brew is made by combining prescription-strength cough syrup with drinks like Sprite or Mountain Dew and Jolly Rancher candy. It gets its purplish hue from dyes in the cough syrup, which contains the opiate codeine and the anti-histamine promethazine. Addiction expert and Caron Foundation vice president Dr. Harris Stratyner tells The Fix that what scares him most is that the "very dangerous concoction" is being geared toward kids, who don't realize it is hazardous. "Because Sprite or Mountain Dew and Jolly Rancher candy is in it, it's seen as innocent," he tells us. "They overlook the fact that codeine is an extremely strong opiate." Stratyner says side effects may include dehydration and seizures. In addition, promethazine is an antiemetic, which means it prevents you from vomiting, he explains: "If you drink poison and you don't have the ability to throw up, it can do a lot of harm."
Dr. Stratyner blames sizzurp's popularity on hip hop, saying: "Rap songs are sung about it, the kids think it's hip." And he's not wrong. Lil' Wayne is among many hip-hop artists who have showed lyrical love for the "Texas Tea" with lines like "syrup, syrup, syrup, haha yeah" and "Pardon the slur, that's the purple." And rapper Juicy J says he "gotta have that drank" because it's "nothing like that yella yella that will have you itchin maybe" (a reference to "The Heroin Scratch"—a side-effect of barbiturates). But in spite of the perception that sizzurp may be less risky than other "harder" drugs, it is suspected to have caused the deaths of several prominent users in the hip-hop community, including DJ Screw, Big Moe and Pimp C. Three 6 Mafia rapper DJ Paul—famous for his song "Sippin' on Some Syrup"—even issued a warning about the drink after pop star Justin Bieber was photographed surrounded by cups of codeine last month. "I can't say don't do [sizzurp] because I did my rounds with it," said Paul, "But I stay away from it these days because I had a lot of friends that passed away from it. It's dangerous if you do too much of it."
Heroin use among young people is continuing to rise in suburban towns across the US—following on from the spike in teen prescription drug abuse. Back in 2011, authorities noted that Chicago teens were increasingly "graduating" to heroin after getting hooked on prescription opiates like Oxy. And as The Fix reported last year, many young people in recovery for heroin addiction say the first opiate they tried was a prescription painkiller. And a surge of media reports suggest that the problem is continuing to snowball. “Heroin is an opioid, so the natural progression here is that people become addicted to prescription opioids first, and then when they can no longer afford or no longer obtain prescription opioids, they move on to heroin,” explains Orman Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. The number of heroin overdoses in northwest Ohio has been steadily increasing: 14 in 2010, 31 in 2011 and 55 last year. As of February 2013, 14 overdose deaths have been reported, according to the Lucas County coroner’s office. One of the victims is 25-year-old Matthew Schroeder, who overdosed at his parents’ house late last year, after a struggle with opiate addiction. “Matt didn’t just wake up in the morning and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to try heroin,’” says his mother, who blames his addiction on her son being prescribed an array of pharmaceuticals during his teens.
Reports from McHenry County, Illinois, reveal the same pattern. "In my 29 years of law enforcement, when you talked of heroin, it was inner city," says McHenry County Police Sgt. John Lawson. "When you thought of drugs out of suburbs, you thought marijuana. Heroin is out here. And we're seeing a lot of it. The trend was marijuana, then cocaine, and now it's heroin." An upcoming community forum called "Heroin in Our Community" is in the works to educate Chicago parents on the problem by confronting them with what police say is irrefutable evidence of a growing problem in the suburbs. “[Heroin addicts] have similar stories and pathways to how they got where they are,” says Chris Gleason, director of a mental health and substance abuse treatment center in McHenry County, Illinois. “And almost all of them say they started with prescription drugs and then ended up on heroin.”